Biblical Sabbatical for Husbands

When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he has taken.

Deuteronomy 24:5

Work

I’ll confess, it was work that contributed to my divorce 20 years ago. I was commanding an undercover drug and violent crimes task force at the time and loved it like I’d never loved anything else.The years spent with the DEA during the turbulent 1990s was a rush like I’d never known. It was addictive to say the least.

My then wife, first worried about becoming a widow by line-of-duty death. She soon discovered that becoming a “police widow” was also horrible. Grieving the “always-absent living” was more than anyone should have to bear.

While I was too busy working myself up the professional ladder, my family had jumped off the personal one. We were divorced. Instead of seeking God, I buried myself in work. The riskier the better, but I promoted to the very tip of the spear. Yet at what cost?

Seeds

Almost 25 years, I was still taking risks, and working harder than most people I knew. But God had begun whispering to me. He’d planted two new seeds in my heart that would grow to become my desires because they were originally His desires.

  1. God wanted me to marry

  2. God wanted me to retire from policing

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

Harvest

I still smile when I share that God told me to retire, but it took about a year to realize He wasn’t joking. As my one years retirement’s anniversary drew near, I had begun thinking about law enforcement again. I’d also been questioning why it was that God had me retire as soon as Leah and I married.

He provided that answer the week of my anniversary when He knew my heart was heavy. God placed scripture (Deuteronomy 24:5) on Leah’s heart for her to share with me. I must admit, I’d never seen this verse. I even looked it up to make sure she wasn’t just trying to help me get over the 1 year hump.

I prayed about it, and realize that God was protecting the investment of His promise to give me a wife with whom to share my life.

He knew my human condition to work addiction, and also grieved during my earlier divorce because of it. He would not allow that to happen to me or Leah or our kids.

Although no one in their right mind just walks away as a Chief of Police, I was in God’s state of mind thanks to Him giving me the desires of my heart.

He whispered, “Retire.”

Faithful Wife

Thanks to Leah’s faithfulness in sharing the scripture in Deuteronomy 24:5, I now fully understand why His desire was for my retirement.

My service area over this last year was more important for loving and supporting my new wife and family that He provided, than for an occupation.

I’m anxious to see where God sends me next. What seeds of desire has God planted in your life recently? Are you nurturing them or resisting like I had for a season?

God Bless You,

Scott

About Dr. Scott Silverii

Christ follower, husband, dad, author and retired chief of police discovering the amazing side of a servant's life.